Archive for the ‘Saturday Night Live’ Category

American Presidential Campaign: New Version of ‘World’s greatest Soap Opera’ Begins Wednesday for 2012

November 2, 2008

It’s been the year’s longest-running serialized drama, with more ups and downs than a season of “Lost” and more jilted contestants than a season and a half of “Top Model.”

And it all comes to a screeching halt after Tuesday night.

By Adam Buckman
The New York Post

The “show” is the presidential campaign. As in past election seasons, the all-news cable channels aired thousands of hours of repetitive chatter, much of it no more illuminating than a chat you or I or Joe the Plumber might have had about the candidates at a corner saloon.

The broadcast networks clawed at each other for interviews with the candidates, those all-important “gets,” not so much to inform the electorate but to showcase their anchors, in whom they have invested millions of dollars.

The highlights for better or worse, inasmuch as they helped form public perceptions, were Charlie Gibson’s and Katie Couric’s interviews with Sarah Palin. Both made news for days (if not weeks), after they were conducted, with Couric’s in particular providing more grist for Tina Fey to impersonate Palin on “Saturday Night Live.”

Gibson’s was notable mainly for the anchorman’s pomposity. Never mind what the interview revealed (if anything); most of us were too fixated on the way Charlie’s glasses were perched on the end of his nose to listen to what Gov. Palin had to say.

Comedy, with Palin positioned unfairly at the center of much of it, was once again a big part of the campaign picture, with untold numbers of voters preparing to cast their ballots on Election Day based on Jay Leno’s jokes and Jon Stewart’s sarcasm.

Stewart will be on hand to “cover” the Election Night returns on Comedy Central, with Stephen Colbert as his co-anchor, demonstrating how comedy and TV news are fast becoming synonymous.

But you could have said that four years ago, and even eight years ago. The difference this time around was this campaign’s soap opera storyline, which seemed tailor-made for TV.

Presidential campaigns are always dramatic, but this one was more so. It had race and gender and two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, who a year ago looked like shoo-ins for each of their party’s nominations, but who shattered all predictions for how this campaign would go by falling by the wayside.

Tuesday night, the TV newsers will make their last efforts to impress you enough for you to stay with them after the 2008 campaign saga concludes, and the 2012 race commences first thing Wednesday morning.

McCain’s November Surprise: Best ‘SNL’ Ever (With Video)

November 2, 2008

Ya gotta love John Mccain.  Former Prisoner of War, Navy fighter pilot, “Maverick” of the Senate, and a really humorous guy….

By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer

epublican John McCain poked fun at his presidential campaign‘s financial shortcomings and his reputation as a political maverick in an appearance on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”

The presidential hopeful made a cameo appearance at the beginning of the show, with Tina Fey reprising her memorable impersonation of McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

McCain, who is trailing Democrat Barack Obama in most battleground state polls, also appeared during the show’s “Weekend Update” newscast to announce he would pursue a new campaign strategy in the closing days of the campaign.

“I thought I might try a strategy called the reverse maverick. That’s where I’d do whatever anybody tells me,” McCain said.

And if that didn’t work, “I’d go to the double maverick. I’d just go totally berserk and freak everybody out,” the Arizona senator quipped.

Earlier in the show, McCain and Fey, portraying Palin, said they couldn’t afford a half-hour campaign commercial on network television like Democrat Barack Obama aired earlier this week. They said they’d sell campaign products on the QVC shopping channel instead.

Among other things, McCain advertised a set of knives to cut through pork in Washington. His wife, Cindy McCain, briefly appeared to advertise “McCain Fine-Gold” jewelry, a play on the campaign finance law McCain authored with Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.

Fey, as Palin, advertised a set of “Joe” dolls commemorating Joe the Plumber, Joe Six Pack and her Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

The pretend Palin also pulled out T-shirts saying “Palin 2012” and said she wouldn’t be returning to Alaska after the election.

“I’m either running in four years or I’m going to be a white Oprah,” she said.

Link to the story and watch the video:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081102/ap_on_el_pr
/mccain_saturday_night_live;_ylt=ArF
9X1DJwUZJvnUsc4Eoqi6s0NUE

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=3906861&cl=10492093&ch=4226716&src=news
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Most Memorable SNL Appearance Ever?

From Robert Kubey
The Huffington Post

Sen. John McCain made one of most memorable political appearances in SNL history last night. In his opening sketch, and in the “Weekend Update” segment, in the lingo of the comedy world, he “killed.”

He humanized himself and demonstrated that he and his campaign could have a terrific sense of humor when the chip were down. He appeared incredibly relaxed, wonderfully self-effacing and winning.

Take nothing away from this guy, he did it all tonight and did it well.

He did his campaign some good tonight, after Gov. Palin’s appearance two weeks ago that I panned at the time. I thought that one was ill-advised but McCain’s came off well.

Sen. Obama, I think, made the right decision in not going on the program as had been rumored.

He is the frontrunner, after all, and needs to make no mistakes in the final days.

Meanwhile, about 40 minutes before SNL aired not long ago in the New York tri-state area and in the San Francisco Bay Area, a powerful attack ad on Obama ran inside a repeat airing of the previous week’s SNL episode hosted by “MadMen” star, John Hamm.

The ad resurrected Rev. Jeremiah Wright with incendiary speech excerpts, a photo of Wright and Obama standing very close to each other, and a woman’s narration culminating in words saying that Barack Obama was “Too Radical and Too Risky” for America.

It was a strong ad, one that I had predicted to my media and elections classes would air somewhat earlier in the campaign but also when Obama had less opportunity to respond.

Obama is probably most wise to avoid responding unless that line of attack, and other attacks, get worse in these last two days. He doesn’t want to draw new attention to the threat that Wright first posed back so many months ago.

Sen. Obama, in my opinion, has been a little cocky in some appearances earlier this week, mocking how John McCain would attack him, and that is just unwise when his main goal right now should be to attract more of the undecideds and mobilize his own get-out-the-vote effort, which he is doing superbly well.

But undecideds are undecided for a reason in every election. They don’t really have a dog in the fight and thus see any signs of conceit or cockiness in either candiate as unattractive. They are still taking the measure of both men. I always say that people unconsciously vote for the candidate they most want to watch on television the next four years and tonight, John McCain looked like he could be a lot of fun.

Fun is now what the country needs now, of course, and perhaps I’m wrong and McCain hurt himself tonight. He may well have.

The next 48 hours will be intense and critical, and so much has been looking so good for Sen. Obama that my political instincts tell me to watch out. When things look too good to believe in politics, they often are just that–too good to be believed. They might be true, but I wouldn’t bet the family farm quite yet.

We could have recounts in our future and nightmarish legal challenges.

Of course, if Obama wins with 40 or more electoral votes than are needed, and seems to be pulling away at the end, continuing to ride his tsunami of momentum, then recounts and legal challenges are just in our worst imaginings.

President-elect won’t have much time to celebrate

November 1, 2008

The new president elect, starting next Wednesday, has to put his team into place and establish policy on a host of tricky economic and foreign policy issues.  The days of the campaign stump speech and soundbite are quickly running out….

From CNN

Trailing in the polls, Sen. John McCain will travel to seven states in one day as his presidential campaign enters its final hours, the Republican nominee’s campaign manager announced Friday.

McCain will campaign in seven cities Monday, just one day before Election Day, Rick Davis said. The final list of cities has not been finalized, Davis said.

McCain and the Republican Party expect to outspend his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama, by $10 million in the closing days of the campaign, Davis said.

The Republican nominee will not spend all of his final weekend campaigning on serious matters. McCain plans to make an appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” He has appeared on the show before, but this weekend will be his first appearance this year.

Polls show that McCain is trailing Obama going into the final weekend of campaigning. A CNN poll of polls calculated Wednesday has Obama leading McCain 50 percent to 43 percent, with 7 percent unsure. The poll of polls is an average of eight national surveys.

In a sign that the Democrats were not going to sit on their lead, the Obama campaign announced Friday that it would begin airing ads in McCain’s home state of Arizona.

CNN spoke to world affairs expert and author Fareed Zakaria about what the first order of business will be for whomever wins next week’s election.

CNN: What will a president-elect do in the days following the election?

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/10/31/
zakaria.transition/index.html

Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria says the president-elect won’t have much time to celebrate his victory.

Palin smiles as ‘SNL’ mocks her anew

October 19, 2008

After watching “Saturday Night Live” make fun of her from afar, Sarah Palin witnessed it first hand this week as Tina Fey engaged in fiction by depicting her at the news conference the Republican vice presidential nominee has yet to hold.

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, pictured ...
Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, pictured making a speech in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, took on a different challenge Saturday appearing with her own television mimic actress Tina Fey in a spoof press conference for hit comedy show Saturday Night Live(AFP/Getty Images/Jeff Fusco)

By GLEN JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer

Later, Palin came on stage during the Weekend Update mock news segment and bobbed to the beat as cast member Amy Poehler performed a rap song the Alaska governor decided was too hardcore for her to perform personally.

I’m Jeremiah Wright ‘cuz I’m the preacher; I got a bookish look and you’re all hot for teacher,” Poehler rapped as actors dressed as Eskimos, Palin’s husband, Todd, and a caribou pranced across the stage.

The appearance was anticipated since September, when Fey began portraying Palin just after GOP presidential nominee John McCain selected the little-known governor as his running mate. The two look alike, and Palin remarked that people often told her — before Fey started portraying her — that she resembled the actor.

In the show’s opening, Fey’s impersonation of Palin told a group of reporters, “First off, I just want to say how excited I am to be in front of both the liberal elite media as well as the liberal regular media. I am looking forward to a portion of your questions.”

Moments later, the camera cut away to the real Palin watching a television monitor alongside the show’s executive producer, Lorne Michaels.

“You know, Lorne, I just don’t think it’s a realistic depiction of the way my press conferences would have gone,” Palin said. She said she wished he would have let her do a sketch about “30 Rock,” the NBC program in which Fey now stars. That prompted Michaels to deadpan: “Honestly not enough people know that show.”

Palin then stood mute as Fey’s “30 Rock” co-star, Alec Baldwin came onto the stage, mistook Palin for Fey and pleaded with Michaels not to let the actor go onstage with the governor.

“This is the most important election in our nation’s history and you want her, our Tina, to go out there and stand with that horrible woman?” Baldwin said.

When Michaels broke down and introduced him to Palin, Baldwin feigned embarrassment and replied, “I see. Forgive me. I feel I must say this: You are way hotter in person.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081019/ap_on_el_pr/palin_
saturday_night_live

McCain gives Letterman his biggest audience in years

October 18, 2008

By James Hibberd
Live Feed

John McCain’s peace summit visit to CBS’ “Late Show” gave David Letterman his highest viewership in nearly three years.

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) ...
U.S. Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) speaks to host David Letterman (R) during an appearance on “Late Show with David Letterman” in New York October 16, 2008. REUTERS/CBS/John Paul Filo

The Thursday night telecast was seen by 6.5 million viewers, and received a 1.7 rating in the adult demo. That’s the largest audience for the show since December, 2005, when Oprah Winfrey appeared. “Late Show” also topped Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” (4.6 million viewers) by 43%, and Leno had Joe Biden as a guest.

“Can I give you an answer?” says McCain when ribbed about his previous appearance cancellation. “I screwed up.”

Last night marked McCain’s 14th appearance on the show. The host and candidate talked foreign affairs, William Ayers, Tina Fey and Sarah Palin. The McCain camp has also confirmed that Palin is going to appear on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” this week.

Read the rest; watch the video:
http://www.thrfeed.com/2008/10/mccain-gives-le.html